Getting prospects to move forward and take the action you want them to can be like herding sheep. The modern consumer does not care as much about the quality of your content, product, or service. Abandoning shopping carts, ignoring parts of blog posts, and refusing to sign up for informative newsletters is common behavior. 

For this reason, contemporary marketers must emphasize persuading prospects now more than ever. Doing this can be as simple as incorporating a compelling call to action on their websites and marketing campaigns.

But what is a call to action? And how do elite marketers use it?

We break down the answers to these questions (with real-world examples!) and walk you through making a call to action in this post.

What is a (Call To Action) CTA in Marketing?

A good way to approach understanding what is a CTA in marketing is to first consider the meaning of “call to action” in a non-business context. 

The phrase refers to an appeal to an audience to do something to achieve a goal or address the problem at hand. When someone concludes their speech with a call to action, it means that they urge people to do something about a problem.

In marketing, a Call To Action is a word, phrase, sentence, or image that attempts to persuade the viewer to complete a specific action. The idea is to increase sales by prompting a prospect to buy a product, try out a free sample, sign up for a newsletter or subscribe for a free trial. 

Digital marketers use CTAs in various contexts, from social media platforms to business websites. They also tailor the CTA depending on the prospect’s place in a sales funnel. 

But regardless of the medium, a CTA is used to get a prospective customer’s attention. 

If you’re wondering what is a CTA in inbound marketing, the definition of a CTA is no different from what’s described above. In fact, CTAs are a cornerstone of any successful inbound marketing strategy. 

The effectiveness of a CTA is measured by a marketing metric termed “Click Through Rate.” It is the ratio of the volume of clicks on a CTA (button or link) to the number of times prospects are exposed to the link. 

Most individuals are wondering what is a CTA in digital marketing come to understand the uses of this metric in the context of online advertising. However, the most successful marketers use the metric to measure the performance of every CTA they make. 

Many marketers go the extra mile and make two different CTAs for the same purpose (be it a landing page or a marketing email), use A/B testing to determine the most effective of the two, and use the more effective CTA to maximize the odds of converting a prospect. 

The average CTR for a CTA is 4.23% across industries – you can use this benchmark to measure your CTA’s success.

What Makes CTAs Important?

CTAs are essential since people are more likely to do something when you prompt them to do it. By making action easy to do and obvious, marketers increase the odds of a prospect progressing into the next stage of a sales funnel and subsequently becoming a paying customer.

However, calls to action can be used to do much more than persuade the reader to spend money. For instance, content marketers use CTAs at the end of blog posts to increase engagement by asking visitors to leave a comment. 

The idea here is that the longer the reader spends on the website, the more familiar they become with the brand, which in turn builds trust. In this way, content marketers prime readers for future conversion.

Best Call To Action (CTA) Examples

Here’s a look at 15 of the best CTAs we found on the internet to help you get a feel for what you should be aiming for:

1. Glossier

Glossier-Call to Action (CTA)-Example

Glossier is a beauty brand known amongst marketers for nailing its brand image – the brand always showcases realistic images of women with different skin types.

The website has a clean look thanks to the ample white space and several photos of models using their makeup.

When you scroll through the site, the CTA they use appears as an overlay – otherwise known as a pop-up. The delicately-worded CTA is persuasive, making readers want to stick around. 

“Let’s take it to your inbox” sounds inviting, and visitors interested in the brand can enter their email address and hit “I’m in.”

The takeaway from this example is that clever phrasing that matches a brand’s voice can help disarm skeptical visitors, and beautiful images can make the message more appealing.

2. Hulu

Hulu-CTA-Example

Hulu is among the best-known streaming giants in the industry. The company makes its homepage impactful by taking a dramatic approach to its CTA. 

The page’s background is dimmed and highlights all of its most popular shows and movies. The green-and-white text on the CTA matches the brand’s look thematically, drawing the visitors’ attention.

What’s more, the CTA is dressed as both a sign-up and an upsell, letting users know they can either get Hulu or purchase Disney+ and ESPN+ add-ons at a discounted price.

The CTA gives the impression that visitors get a good deal when they get the bundle, making it much more enticing. 

The takeaway here is that if you sell various services in bundles, showing off a deal is a superior approach to putting up a simple “sign-up” button.

3. Evernote

Evernote-CTA-Example

Evernote’s tagline does a lot of the heavy lifting on its homepage – “Tame your work, organize your life” showcases the primary advantage of the tool succinctly and with style. 

The page design allows visitors to go over all the tool’s benefits quickly, and the slightly crowded look of the page is offset by the simplistic “Sign up for free” button. 

The CTA button shares its color with Evernote’s logo, making it jump off the page at first glance. 

Evernote’s homepage Call To Action (CTA) is a nice example of how picking the right colors and keeping the color scheme simple can give the page a contrast that makes the CTA stand out.

4. Full Bundle

Full-Bundle-CTA-Example

Full Bundle’s homepage features one of the more unique designs out there, using negative space to make their CTA “Our Work” pop off the page. 

Since the company primarily builds out its clients’ online presence, it needs to show off earlier work to attract more business. 

The homepage is an excellent example of how negative space can be used to make the CTA stick out. 

5. EPIC

EPIC-CTA-Example

EPIC is a web design agency that uses its homepage to show off some of its work. When the page first loads, you will be greeted by animated videos of EPIC’s previous work. You can explore this animated portfolio with your cursor. 

Scrolling all the way down, you will find ways to get in touch with the company. What’s more, you will find a “let’s start a new project together” CTA, giving users looking for creative partners the nudge they need to topple down to the next stage of the funnel. 

The EPIC homepage is an excellent example of how inclusive language can persuade visitors more effectively than a CTA that plainly states, “join us.” Taking the effort to make the CTA specific to the conversion goal is a practical approach that pays off.

6. Uber

Uber-CTA-Example

Uber, the tech giant, is always looking for riders and drivers to work with. While the personas do completely different things, the company’s homepage ties them together nicely. 

Moreover, the copy above the driver’s CTA is as straightforward as they make it. “Get in the driver’s seat and get paid” has a conversational tone. The homepage is a nice example of how speaking the people’s language can help attract the target audience’s attention. 

Further, you can take away that if a business is catering to different types of customers, having personalized CTAs for every customer type can help optimize conversion. 

7. Instagram

Instagram-CTA-Example

Instagram is mainly used as a mobile app, so its homepage has two black CTAs that direct the visitor to the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. 

The two CTAs are the same size since it doesn’t matter whether the visitor downloads the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Besides those buttons, users can also fill in their account details and log into their account from the homepage.

The Instagram homepage shows how adding a Call To Action (CTA) for every platform can work out in your favor if your business mainly functions as an app. Having links to your apps on your homepage ensures that users do not have to search a lot for your app.

8. Nintendo

Nintendo-CTA-Example

Besides showing off best-selling products, the Nintendo website keeps the floodlight on answering any questions visitors may have. One of the main CTAs on the page is the “Explore now” button, which allows visitors to compare the features of the different Nintendo systems. 

Nintendo understands that visitors will do their due diligence before purchasing their consoles and caters to their needs by offering this CTA.

This shows off how a business can allow prospective customers to compare their options to make an informed decision.

9. Tarzan Kay

Tarzan-Kay-CTA-Example

Tarzan Kay has established herself as an email marketing authority and set up a successful business – and she shows off how she can help her visitors with her inviting CTA. 

The button is huge and hard to miss, but it doesn’t sound salesy. Rather, it excites visitors by getting front-row seats to learn the workings of email marketing.

10. Peleton

Peleton-CTA-Example

What’s better than getting free access to a service for a week? Get free access to it for a month.

Peleton has a small “Get 30 days free” CTA that attracts prospective customers who want to work on their fitness. A month-long trial gives a prospect enough time to understand whether the company’s services work for them. 

11. Pedro Cortes

Pedro-Cortes-CTA-Example

Understanding your target audience is vital to writing potent CTAs, and Pedro Cortes’ website underlines this. In his copy and CTA, he clarifies how he serves SaaS businesses that want to convert higher volumes of prospects. 

A small increase in a SaaS company’s user base can increase the company’s revenue significantly, and this is why he offers a free strategy session. This allows him to have a sit down with prospects and grow his customer base.

12. Crazy Egg

Crazy-Egg-CTA-Example

Crazy Egg’s CTA is perhaps one of the bolder CTAs on this list. The copy uses few words to effectively indicate what the tool can do for a website owner. While the language is simple, mentioning the userbase size in the copy offers social proof of the tool already giving several other users results.

Coming to the CTA button itself, it taps into the voice of the customer (Show me my heatmap), making it hard to resist for any website owner.

13. GiftRocket

GiftRocket-CTA-Example

Off-the-shelf greeting cards and gift certificates are seen as a lazy way to show someone you care. And this is where GiftRocket works its magic – it combines the two into a surprisingly captivating package that makes a decent gift.

The Call To Action (CTA) cuts straight to the point, offering the visitor to “Send a GiftRocket,” which is far more interesting than a bland “Sign Up Now” button. The copy has short sentences and uses a lot of active verbs, compelling the reader to act. 

14. Basecamp

Basecamp-CTA-Example

One of the best things about Basecamp’s CTA is that it fortifies the risk-free nature of trying the tool out. 

The copy communicates the many common hurdles of remote project management in a casual tone before highlighting how the tool can make the process easier for managers and employees.

The tone of the CTA can seem impassive, but it ultimately shows off the company’s confidence in its offering. By offering a free trial, Basecamp does not need to pitch to prospects aggressively, allowing them to keep the tone light. 

15. Saint-Isadore

Saint-Isadore-CTA-Example

The website has two CTA buttons: one asking readers to shop online and the other asking them to “Shop all.” What’s interesting is that both the CTAs take the visitor to the same page.

This tactic is much more common than you’d think and stands out as an effective way to drive more people to the page. 

The idea is that different people are attracted to different CTAs for various reasons. By altering the look and text of the CTAs slightly, both seem unique yet related, inviting more clicks.

How to Write an Effective CTA for Maximum Click-Through Rate

One common theme in all the examples featured above is language clarity. Further, the CTAs are written straightforwardly. 

To make an effective CTA, you must frame the copy around it to make it seem like the logical action to take. The best CTAs always round off all the information the prospect has about the product, service, or business while moving them to act on their intent.

Well-written, expertly-designed CTAs can offer a high RoI. Here are some success factors you must consider when making a Call To Action (CTA) for your business: 

  • Placement: The CTA will be most effective if it is placed after the offering has been explained in detail. This is the only way to ensure that the reader will be ready to commit when they see the CTA. For this reason, businesses tend to place CTAs above the fold only when a free trial is involved. In most other cases, the CTAs are at the end of the copy.
  • Button design: If the CTA you’re making needs to be placed within a button and not in-line, making good use of the white space and keeping the wording concise is key to enticing users. As shown in some of the examples on our list, using contrasting colors and keeping the copy free of distracting graphics ensures that you get the reader’s attention.
  • Phrasing: A call to action needs to be written as an imperative (think “Buy now!”). That said, some analysis suggests that CTAs written in the first person can offer comparatively better conversion rates. The thinking behind why this works is that addressing the reader directly personalizes the message and draws them to take action.
  • Specificity: A generic CTA such as “submit” is rarely compelling enough since the wording is not specific enough to encourage the action. For this reason, marketers write their CTAs specific to their conversion goal (like “Get my free quote”).
  • Scarcity: CTAs work best when written in a way that creates a sense of urgency in the reader. Leveraging the fear of missing out is an effective tactic that converts prospects to paying customers.